Saturday, January 19, 2013


As published in the Newport (TN) Plain Talk
Release Date: January 10, 2013
Column Number: 1302

You know what they say! If it’s on the Internet, it’s got to be true! Yep; that’s what “they” say.

Have you ever tried to pinpoint who this mysterious group called “they” is? I know, individually, they “are”; but as a singular group, they “is”.

That statement makes almost as good sense as who this group really is. If “they” were animals, I could probably spotlight them like an “intrusion” of cockroaches; and watch them run to the nearest rock or kitchen cabinet and hide until the light goes off.

If “they” were a “drove” of donkeys, a “brace” of ducks, a “mob” of Emus, or a “gang” of buffalos; I might be able to identify them. After all, my three years in bonehead “Freshman Animal Identification” were not spent just whittling and whistling my way while my instructor (I forget his/her/its name right at the moment) listed such gems as a “congregation” of alligators and a “bask” of crocodiles on the black board. A “shrewdness” of apes was followed by a “cete” of badgers and a “colony” of bats.

You see, if I could group “they” into convenient little groups with a nice little group name badge; maybe I could help you identify them much mo better (as “they” say as “they” gather around the third bench on the grounds of the Frogpond Courthouse discussing a “sloth” of bears, a “swarm” of bees, and a “rabble” of butterflies.

Mayor, Lester Starnes’ will soon come out, followed by a “clutter” of cats that live under his office. That is “mo better” than having a “coalition” of cheetahs under your office, don’t you think.

By the way, ask Notre Dame about having a “parade” of elephants come parading through your little game plan. My three years were well spent leaning about a “herd” of cows or horses, an “ambush” of tigers, a “hoover” of trout, a “rafter” of turkeys”, a “bale” of turtles, and a “mob” of wombats (I hesitate to think what damage a mob of wombats could do).

My friendly woodpeckers in my front yard fly in “descents”; and the beautiful Biblical doves gather in “exhaultations”; while the kangaroos and baboons in your front yard run (or bounce) in “troups”.

You know about the “pride” of lions, the “warren” of rabbits, and Colonel Sanders’ rep is out there checking out the “flock” of chickens. Long John Silver’s rep is looking for “schools” of fish; and the patriotic types are gazing at that “convocation” of eagles flying overhead.

Those angry black birds are crows and they fly in a “murder”. Frogpond has its share of “casts” of falcons, “clouds” of flies, “skulks” of foxes, “armies” of frogs, “gaggles” of geese, “casts” of hawks, “cackles” of hyena, “companies” of parrots, and “droves” of pigs.

We are not bothered too much with “bloats” of hippos, “cartloads” of monkeys, “smacks” of jellyfish (ever caught yourself “smack dab” in the middle of a “smack”), “families” of otter, “beds” of oysters, “bevies” of swans, “pods” of porpoises, “harems” of seals, “crashes” of rhinos, “shivers” of sharks, or “rookeries” of penguins; but we do have our share of “charms” of hummingbirds, “mischiefs” of mice, “parliaments” of owls, “labors” of moles, “coveys” of quail, and “drays” of squirrels.

Most of you know what a raven is; and no, I’m not talking about a football team from Baltimore! A raven is a somewhat obnoxious bird of carrion that was used by Noah to determine if the world-wide flood waters had receded sufficiently to disembark the ark; but the raven found itself a floating chunk of “water kill” (the oceanic form of “road kill”) and satisfied itself never to go back to the ark.

Ravens can talk. Edgar Allen Poe quoted one as saying “Nevermore”. I saw it on the Internet, so it has to be true! Oddly, a group of ravens is inaptly called – wait for it – wait of it – a “congress”; named for a group of people, some of whom say “nevermore” but they never seem to back up “nevermore”; especially where spending OPM (Other People’s Money) is concerned.


Hey, I am so happy to be a member of the “congregation” of God’s People. You might call it the Church, an “Assembly” or “Ecclesia”, or whatever; but God is gathering His Congregation together to make the jump into hyperspace in what we know as the Rapture of the Church.

That could be today! Are you ready? Are you a member of this “group”? Would you like to be? Don’t know how? I do, and I will surely share!

(Mooty is the Very, Very, Very Senior pastor of the West End Baptist Church of Newport; and writes this column for the Thursday and Weekend Editions of “The Newport Plain Talk”. He can be reached at Write or call the paper with your comments today.)

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